Book Review: Bowen

Book Review: Bowen / by Laura M Kaminski

after reading Ash Bowen’s The Even Years of Marriage, Dream Horse Press, 2013

I make my way past the blonde bikini-babe
laid out on Geoff Greene’s grass, up the ridge
to the pink house that’s burning on the cover.
This is where I enter, turn the knob.

“Weather Report” — already on page twenty-nine.
I suddenly realize I’m still standing, my right hand’s
still clutching packaging, left thumb and pinky
doing an awkward dance to turn each page.

My experience in galleries of living authors’ poetry
left me completely unprepared for this: instead
of moments captured flatly, still life from skewed
perspectives, observations caught and stuffed

like trophy fish upon the wall (their eyes glassy,
artificial) — instead, I’ve entered the chambers
of a heart half-consumed by fire and yet still
candle-lit, and within this dwelling, I find sculpted

beings, the most exquisite wax museum I have ever
seen, I tread gently between the delicate headstones
of unborn children, stare long at the rigid back
of a loose-hipped woman who never looks my way.

I’m startled by a sense of pressure on my
shoulder, certain it’s Security come to remove me
from this place of fragility where I wander, uninvited,
a hallow where the vibrant air is awe. Instead,

some unseen ghost or gust must have reached out
to catch its balance, brushed against me for a moment.
An Icarus-feather, without wax, is drawn by gravity
along my cheek, a sincerity that makes me shiver.

–Laura M Kaminski, 2013